World

April 5, 2012

U.S. Soldiers save Afghan boy wounded by insurgent IED


Afghan-boy

PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan (March 30, 2012) — Once in a while an event occurs that develops the human perspective of warfare into the mission in Afghanistan. The Soldiers of Blackjack, or Company Bravo, Task Force 3-66, 172nd Infantry Brigade, Task Force Blackhawk, participated in such a life-changing set of events March 14 through March 25.

On the afternoon of March 14, Soldiers from Blackjack responded to a blast in Kushamond district in the qalat of Saduzi. An improvised explosive device, or IED, stored for a planned attack on coalition forces and Afghan National Security Forces operating within the district, detonated prematurely.

Upon arriving at the scene, the Soldiers realized that the detonation killed four children who appeared to be playing in the area and may have unwittingly engaged the trigger device.

They did not know it, but one child, Saduzi’s 8-year-old son, Matten, survived the blast.

Within minutes, a man named Sultan who lives in a neighboring qalat, carried the severely injured Matten to Combat Outpost Kushamond.

Sgt. Anthony Merino from Basstrop, Texas, senior medic for the company, reacted immediately, treating the surviving child at the entry control point.

“I assessed and stabilized the patient while we called in a medical evacuation,” said Merino. “He was losing his airway. Had we not been able to treat him when we did, his wounds would certainly have been fatal.”

The boy was prepared for movement on an aircraft. Sgt. Michael Torres from Amarillo, Texas, and Pfc. Cody Sandstrom, along with Sultan, escorted the boy from Kushamond to the Sharana Medical Treatment Facility and then to the Craig Joint-Theater Hospital, or CJTH, at Bagram Airfield.

Torres, Sandstrom, and Sultan remained with Matten in Bagram for 10 days while surgery was performed on his multiple facial lacerations.

According to Maj. Bradley S. Putty, CJTH deputy-commander for clinical services, a complex procedure was performed to remove a ball bearing from the boy’s eye socket. Additional surgeries were performed on both sets of eyelids.

“The boy’s eyes were injured beyond repair and a follow-up surgery was performed to implant prosthetic eyes,” Putty explained.

Craig hospital staff noticed the boy’s clothes and shoes were destroyed by the blast, so they donated new clothes, sneakers and toys.

This action was a stark contrast to the reports of recent events in Kandahar.

“This was a deliberate outreach effort,” Putty said. “This child was a victim of this war.”

On March 24, the boy was released from the hospital and flown to Forward Operating Base Sharana and on March 25, he was flown back onto COP Kushamond with Torres, Sandstrom, and Sultan.

He was greeted on the COP by Adam Khan, a representative from the office of the Kushamond district sub-governor, and Capt. Giles Wright, the commander of Company B.

“Matten was stable and in excellent spirits and even offered a few jokes,” Wright said. “It was evident he was a child willing to live for the future of Afghanistan.”

Although blind for life and severely scarred, Matten is grateful for his life. Matten has since been escorted to his village by Adam Khan, who has accepted guardianship and responsibility for the boy on behalf of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The Afghan Uniform Police intend to maintain persistent watch over him and the villagers have vowed to protect the boy.

Matten’s father, Sudazi, is believed to be hiding outside of Paktika province and is currently a wanted individual.

All those involved were greatly moved by the boy’s spirit and the humanity of the event.

“It demonstrated the human side of this conflict,” Torres said. “The compassion of the American Soldiers here and [at] Bagram and of the local villagers really showed the pain of all of this.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Photo by Jason Miller

Bears take over Earth Day

Photo by Jason Miller Public Affairs Office The command team of United States Army Garrison at Fort Irwin, Command Sgt. Maj. Carlos Esmurria and Col. Jon Braga, have some fun at the Earth Day showing of “Bears,” here, April...
 
 
photo-4-pg-3

For 4th Stryker Brigade commander, NTC rotation all about relationships

photos by Sgt. Christopher M. Gaylord An Afghan role player, portraying an Afghanistan provincial governor, addresses security concerns to Col. Michael Getchell, commander of 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Divisi...
 
 
Photo by Sgt. Zachary A. Gardner

Canadians receive award

Lt. Col. Christopher M. Doneski, commander of 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, presents an award to soldiers from N Company, 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, March 23 for their work and participation during t...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin